Vital

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 1, 2017 16:24

Vital

By Satish Sekar at Cardiff City Stadium © Satish Sekar (September 1st 2017

Crunch

Trailing the Republic of Ireland and Serbia by four points, Wales’ manager, Chris Coleman, and his captain, Ashley Williams, agreed with James Chester’s assessment, that tomorrow night’s match against Austria was indeed a must win match, even though Chris Gunter thought that an overused phrase.

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“We were saying that it’s almost like a mini tournament with the games coming up and it’s do-or-die, depending on the results elsewhere”, Coleman said. “I can’t say it’s stress or pressure. It’s a good place to be in. It’s more than doable and with four games to go, we’re still in the mix. It’s what we’ve always wanted is to be in these situations and we can’t look at that a different way just because we’ve been spoiled. One of us will be dropping out if we get a negative result tomorrow night and I think it will be a good game because something may have to give”.

On the Brink

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Despite the pressure of both sides needing a result – Austria are level with Wales – Coleman anticipates an exciting match. After a fantastic qualification for Euro2016, second only to England’s perfect record of ten wins out of ten, Austria had a poor tournament. Wales reached the semi-final, losing to eventual champions Portugal. Both find themselves on the brink – a win could put them firmly back in contention.

Wales are unbeaten in the group, but five draws are taking a toll, especially as they failed to hold on to leads. But Coleman backs his players. “It could be Brazil, Spain or Germany”, he said. “If we get it right at this stadium, we have no one to fear”.

Nevertheless, the draws hurt. “Three of the draws have been in Dublin, Vienna and Belgrade so if we’re realistic, they are three good draws, but it’s a bit disappointing because we’ve been ahead in some of these games”, Coleman explained. “We either rip everything up and go down a different pathway, which we won’t, or we stay resilient and we turn them into wins”.

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Wales drew 2-2 in Austria. Winger, Marco Arnautović was the star player in Vienna. He has since left Stoke City for West Ham United. Coleman is in no doubt about his qualities. “In terms of individual players, we do our due diligence on all their players as they will be doing to us. It’s never easy but we’ve been in this situation before and we’re confident, this is what we’ve been waiting for, for a very long time, so let’s make the most of it”.

Despite his comments at the start of qualification, Coleman has not ruled out staying as Wales manager, but the priority is getting to the World Cup Finals.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 1, 2017 16:24

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